Drug Information

Phenazopyridine for Urinary Symptoms

Phenazopyridine for Urinary Symptoms


Generic Name Brand Name
phenazopyridine Pyridium

How It Works

Phenazopyridine is a pain reliever (analgesic) for the urinary tract . It comes in tablet form that you take by mouth (orally).

Why It Is Used

Phenazopyridine relieves urinary symptoms such as pain, burning, or the frequent need to urinate caused by urinary tract infections (UTIs) , catheters , or injury or surgery to the area.

How Well It Works

Phenazopyridine provides short-term relief of urinary tract symptoms. But it does not eliminate the cause of symptoms, such as bacterial infection.

Side Effects

All medicines have side effects. But many people don’t feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:

  • Trouble breathing.
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor right away if you have:

  • Hives.
  • Blue or purple skin colour.
  • Vomiting.
  • Unusual tiredness (fatigue).
  • Weight loss.
  • Yellowing of your skin or eyes.
  • Symptoms that are getting much worse, such as:
    • Pain during urination.
    • Having to urinate more often.
    • Blood in urine.
    • Not being able to urinate or not having much urine.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Talk to your doctor before using this medicine if you:

  • Have allergies to any medicines, foods, or other things.
  • Have kidney problems or hepatitis.
  • Have a history of blood problems like hemolysis.
  • Have an enzyme problem called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) or a family history of this problem.

This medicine will change the colour of your urine to red or orange. This is temporary and harmless, but it can stain clothing and towels. Other body fluids may be discoloured as well.

SEE MORE:  Acyclovir

Don’t wear soft contact lenses while taking this medicine. It can permanently stain your lenses.

Don’t take more than the recommended dose or use this medicine for longer than 2 days without checking with your doctor.

Taking medicine

Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don’t take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.

There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.

Advice for women

If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.

SEE MORE:  Acamprosate


Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.


Last Revised: July 18, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD – Internal Medicine & Brian D. O’Brien, MD – Internal Medicine & Avery L. Seifert, MD – Urology